Resolutions 2015: Moon

moon 5.2

Well here we go again, everybody—another week, another round of Resolutions! Today, I’m being selfish though. Instead of a guest review, I’ve got another resolution of my own to knock out. This is one I heard about from a friend several years back, and I remember thinking, “That sounds interesting. I should watch it.” And then I didn’t. For a long, long time. I can’t quite recall when this became a film resolution. Maybe after I finally starting paying attention to Sam Rockwell? Unfortunately, I don’t think that was until after I saw Seven Psychopaths…BUT I’m very happy I did finally take notice of him because this was a pretty solid resolution. Let’s talk about it Moon!

Moon (2009)

moon

Synopsis: “Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet’s power problems.”

moon 2

What I liked:

  • Sam Rockwell as astronaut Sam Bell. Playing multiple versions of his character, Rockwell has his work cut out for him in this movie, but he delivers. I don’t want to say more than that due to potential spoilers. Let’s just leave it at this: Rockwell is awesome.
  • Kevin Spacey as computer GERTY. Really, Spacey can do no wrong—no exception here as he voices suspiciously cheerful and surprisingly expressive GERTY. It’s so funny watching this after 2001: A Space Odyssey because I could not stop thinking of HAL. Though, to be fair, with his emoticon faces and very helpful demeanor, GERTY is significantly less creepy than HAL.
  • The fascinating premise. A three-year solo assignment on the moon is interesting in and of itself, but the film thickens the plot by throwing in a few curveballs that drastically change the story. It became something entirely different than what I was expecting, but I was okay with that. Which leads me to my next point…
  • The mystery. From pretty much the beginning of the film, it’s clear that something fishy is going on, but good luck trying to figure out what that is. It took me totally by surprise, and I loved that.
  • The ending. It’s surprisingly satisfying, tying things up in a pretty perfect way. I think I appreciated it even more after experiencing the massively WTF ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Sci-fi films don’t have to end crazy, Mr. Kubrick.

moon 3

What I didn’t like:

  • The slow pace—especially in the beginning. It’s one of those films where not a whole really happens, but to me the story and characters were intriguing enough that it still worked. Although the slow pace is also tied to my next point…
  • Some of the film feels a bit repetitive. Given what we find out about what’s really going on at the lunar station, it makes sense, but it still might turn some people off.
  • The mystery is great, but it’s solved about halfway into the movie. I’m torn on this one—I liked the setup and the way the plot unfolds so much that I’d hate to change anything about it, but it does take away something when the mystery is sorted out so soon. It’s a tricky balance that isn’t totally satisfying.
  • The special effects. I hate to pick on this because it’s clearly not a big-budget film, but after seeing films like Gravity and Interstellar, I found the effects for this one pretty meh. Heck, I even found the visuals in 2001: A Space Odyssey more impressive, and that film is 40 years older than this one.
  • To some viewers, it may seem derivative. I honestly feel this film has enough unique content going for it to make it stand out as something fresh, but it does clearly beg, borrow, and steal some things here and there. The whole “mission on the moon” thing has obviously been done before—same goes for the vaguely menacing computer. But, again, I believe the film as a whole is greater than these copycat bits.

A Worthy Resolution? Definitely. I’ll admit that Moon won’t be everyone’s thing, but I found it to be a really interesting little sci-fi gem. It was a delight to see Rockwell in one of his best performances, and I certainly can’t argue with the casting of Spacey the computer companion. The slow pacing and having the big mystery solved halfway through the film does weaken the overall experience, I think, but this one is still worth a watch for sci-fi fans and especially for Rockwell fans.

My Grade: B+

So, so happy that 2001: A Space Odyssey has not jaded my sci-fi film-watching experience. 🙂 Anyway, I’m finishing up my guest posts this week, and they’re all pretty fantastic, so stay tuned!

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35 thoughts on “Resolutions 2015: Moon

  1. Glad u enjoyed this little sci-fi gem, Cara!
    Sam Rockwell is superb and the moving soundtrack by Clint Mansell is another strong point.
    Directed by Duncan Jones (David Bowie’s son!)
    Cheers!

    • Jones is Bowie’s son?! Had no idea! Yes, the soundtrack is great, too! I meant to mention that actually…Ah well. Lol. Glad to hear you’re a fan of this, too, Malcolm! 🙂

  2. great review Cara!

    This is an amazing movie and I’m glad you finally saw it.

    Jones’ follow up Source Code is also great, can’t wait to see what he will do with Warcraft next year

  3. Yeah I think I’ve been meaning to get to this as long as you have Miss Shuster! This movie first appeared to be on this one site we all dearly miss, Film Hipster — Chris and someone else were babbling on to no end about how awesome Sam Rockwell is (he really is) and I got to thinking that I really should check out this movie. And that was like, 3 years ago when i first started blogging haha.

    Good resolution.

    • Thanks, Tom! You should toooootally watch Moon. I think you’d dig it. I have heard so many references to this Film Hipster, but I’ve become convinced he’s a myth. He’s, like, a blogging unicorn or something. Hahaha.

  4. One of those films I didn’t love. I’ve never really been a fan of films where there is only really one character on screen and there is a slow pace. A well made film all the same and always good to hear your thoughts.

    • Well, Joseph is demanding I watch it again because he seems to think I’d give it a higher grade…Maybe it’d make more of an impression on you the second time, too? Lol.

  5. Great review lady! I have been told numerous times to watch it, and I thoroughly enjoy Rockwell… I just really need to get to it at some stage!

  6. MOON started a whole Sam Rockwell odyssey for me! I went film by film on his filmography and now a year later have seen about 95% of his films. There were some surprisingly good films in the bunch I never had heard of – and SR is astounding in just about every single one. Box Of Moonlight 1996 was his breakout role. Choke, Snow Angels have some very, very fine acting in them as does the Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Matchstick Men was also a great film with a loveable performance by SR. I recommend you dig up those gems!

    • Oh wow! So happy to hear Moon got you on such a Rockwell kick! Lol. I do need to see more of his stuff. I’ve loved him in what I’ve seen him in, but I still need to see so much more. I’ll see if I can knock some of these off my list! I also really want to see The Way Way Back, which I’ve heard he’s great in.

  7. I really enjoyed Moon. Rockwell was just fantastic. The way the story built was quite nice. I didn’t mind finding out what was going on the middle because the story still had further depths to mine. You’re right, though. That slow pace is not for everyone.

    • Not for everyone, yes, but perfectly fine for me! I enjoyed it a lot. And I agree–the story still had depth once the mystery was solved, and that kept it interesting. A good one for sure!

    • Thanks, lady! I did like this one quite a bit! And I can’t believe I didn’t know the director was Bowie’s son before I started! Not sure how I missed that tidbit…

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